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Global Urban Perspectives

What is Global Urban Perspectives all about?

Transforming students by raising their awareness of urban issues and mobilizing them to live out the incarnational gospel in cities around the world. 

Empowered by the Gospel, Global Urban Perspectives invites students to re-imagine the beauty and depth of urban life and encounter Christ and neighbor in the global urban periphery. We aim to achieve this by providing immersive experiences within cross-cultural faith communities and on-campus learning opportunities.

He has shown you O man, what is good and what the Lord requires of you; but to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8

How to Get Involved!

GUP offers campus events throughout the school year and summer immersion programs to different locations both domestic and abroad. 

Potential Locations for Summer 2020 include:

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Ethiopia is the second largest country in Africa with 110 million people, the diplomatic capital of the continent, and a symbol of African dignity and freedom because of its ancient history and resistance to colonialism. The country combines some of the worst poverty in the world with some of the fastest economic growth rates in the world. It is a land of origins, intersections, and paradoxes that provokes deep thought, feeling, and calling. Students will join in partnership with the  Institute for Christianity and the Common Good (ICCG), an organization committed to nurturing Christian imagination and human flourishing in Ethiopia for the world by providing high quality teaching, mentoring, and writing focused on neighbor-love for the poor and oppressed. Student involvement may include planning and executing youth workshops in Addis and around the country on vital topics like loving enemies, community service, and peacemaking. They may also have opportunities to serve alongside organizations working with street children, orphan care, feminism and women's rights, life-skills training, environmental stewardship, entrepreneurialism, theological education, ecumenism, and policy research.

Mexico City, Mexico

In order to effect holistic change in urban poor communities, Urban Mosaic works through a variety of initiatives from church planting and coaching, to youth and family programs, to advocacy, counseling, and health services. During the summer, students help run summer courses for youth and children, and special workshops based on the skills of the interns. In 2020, Urban Mosaic will be launching an Urban Leadership School that involves a theology/learning component and then practical applications. Students will be able to participate in the program alongside community members.  They will also have the opportunity of living with host families and getting an in-depth perspective of the opportunities and challenges of a contemporary urban slum context.

Chicago, Illinois

Students partner with Sunshine Gospel Ministries in the Woodlawn community on the South side of Chicago, IL. There are opportunities to be involved in running a day camp for elementary students or supporting a work program for high school youth that provides them with local work opportunities. There is also the possibility of serving as project coordinator for a program called Bridgebuilders by hosting teams of students who learn and serve alongside the long-term staff and community members in efforts to foster reciprocity, healthy relationships, and sustainable ministry. 

Manila, The Philippines

Intervarsity's Global Urban Trek partners with four organizations in Metro Manila, and depending on participant placements, involvement and activities will look different from site to site. Some of the potential opportunities could include assisting in indigenous church planting and community development taking place in urban slum areas, coming alongside women exiting the sex industry by providing vocational skills training, personal development, rehabilitation, and spiritual formation, or working with at-risk young adults by offering them rehabilitation though alternative education, vocational skills training, and spiritual formation. 

Xela, Guatemala

Students will join long-term InnerChange staff as they seek to respond to the challenge of children and youth on the streets of Xela by forming friendships and being conduits of God's love for them, as they build bonds of trust, seek freedom from addictions, and choose to leave the life of the street behind through occupational rehabilitation, academic support, and ongoing discipleship. There are also opportunities to lead weekly worship and Bible study in a women's jail as well as supporting immigrant youth who are living in deportation centers. 

Jakarta, Indonesia

Yayasan Pendidikan Pelita Harapan (YPPH) in collaboration with Universitas Pelita Harapan sponsors community-engagement through medical care and education throughout Indonesia, including in Jakarta. We envision student collaborations alongside schools and hospitals (though the students would not be involved in direct provision of medical care), as well as exposure to a variety of related endeavors in the areas of community and urban planning.

Los Angeles, California

Students will join long-term InnerChange staff in the MacArthur Park community in their efforts to be present with their neighbors and attentive to God's Spirit in the work of making disciples and developing local partners and leaders as they seek transformation from the bottom up and inside out. They will gain a better understanding of what a commitment to an InnerChange team looks like, what it means to be a "Christian Order among the Poor" and joining in to rhythms of meeting together, sharing a weekly meal, praying together, taking a day of sabbath rest each week, doing Discovery Bible Studies, and participating in learning community action/reflection meetings. Ministry events over the summer include art VBS, a community art project with local high school students, and also learning about and blessing other ministries in LA.


SOS Memphis is a home repair and leadership development organization deeply rooted in three low income neighborhoods in Memphis, which provides critical home repairs for low income homeowners through the employment of community youth, trained in construction and trade skills. Students will have the opportunity to participate as camp counselors to work alongside youth to support in both leadership development and job skills throughout the summer. This is a paid opportunity! 


If you are interested in living incarnationally among the urban poor, please contact our Assistant Director of Summer Programs Corrie Johnson at corrie.johnson@wheaton.edu 


 Please visit Applying for GUP ! if you are ready to take the next step!